WomensNet News

Tips from Fundera for Creating a Strong Video for its Zach Grant Program

June 18th 2019

Fundera’s Nicolas Straut was happy to answer questions about the company’s $2,500 Zach Grant program for small businesses.

But before we get there, let’s look at their process, per Fundera’s website:

How to Apply:

1. Like and follow Fundera on Facebook.

2. Record a 3 minute video responding to the question: “Why did you start your own business?”

3. Publish the video to your YouTube channel with the following title: “Fundera Zach Grant — Your Business Name.”

4. Email your video to content@fundera.com from your business email.

5. Post the video to your social networks.

Note that the deadline to apply is January 1, 2020. The winner will be announced on February 1, 2020.

Best of luck to those of you who apply.

WN: Would you give us some history on Fundera’s Zach grant program? Why was it created? 

three mens smiling

NS: The Zach Grant is named after Zach Weprin, the cousin of Fundera CEO Jared Hecht, who inspired Jared to start Fundera to help small business owners access the right financial solution for their business when Zach had difficulty accessing traditional financing for his business, Fusian. The Zach Grant was created to offer additional funds to small businesses to help them succeed.

The competition also offers an opportunity for the public to learn more about the interesting stories of small business’s origins.

WN: Are there particular types of businesses that Fundera is looking to support, or that have a better chance of winning? 

NS: All small businesses that apply are considered equally!

WN: How important is the quality of the video entry in moving on within the competition? 

NS: Quality is one of three main judging criteria. Once we’ve determined that an entry has followed other criteria like answering the question, we will judge the video by its quality, originality, and creativity.

WN: Is quality worth 33% of the scoring – or more? 

NS: Yes, each is valued as 33% of the total.

WN: What advice would you offer applicants to help them submit the best video application possible? 

NS: I would recommend that applicants review entries from previous years by Googling or YouTube-searching “Fundera Zach Grant” and considering what unique qualities the best videos possess.

I would also recommend practicing the script for your video in advance and attempting to make your video as high quality as possible (good lighting, editing).

WN: What does “originality” mean? Are you looking for a creative approach to how the video is shot, or something else? 

NS: Originality is distinct from creativity in that the video is something different from what we’ve seen in the past. Presenting the origins of your business in a unique inventive way will score you originality points.

WN: And does “creativity” refer to the business idea or to the filming of the video? 

NS: Creativity refers to the video itself and delivery of your answer to the competition question. Any business can win the competition regardless of what they sell or offer if they abide by the competition rules and create a high-quality, inventive video.

WN: Thinking about past winners, what would you say they have in common as entrepreneurs? 

NS: I think the commonality between entrepreneurs that have won in the past is that they were able to concisely describe why they started their own business and where it’s headed in a high-quality format while abiding by the rules of the competition. To win the grant, make sure to follow the rules, answer the question comprehensively, and be inventive and professional in your delivery.


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What people are saying about WomensNet


“You have to be in it to win it...seize the opportunity and apply.”

Nerd Wallet

“Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month. Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”